There are many people out there who wish to become successful business owners or entrepreneurs. And true enough there are plenty of rewards that one may reap if their business turns out to be successful. Some perks that entrepreneurs may enjoy include having time flexibility, exponential income, and being able to provide value and innovation for the world that we live in. Unfortunately, there are many entrepreneurs whose businesses also do not turn out to be profitable as opposed to those who do. In fact, stats show that 90% of startups actually fail. This goes without saying that doing business or practicing entrepreneurship has many risks or uncertainties involved.
While this is true, one should also not neglect preparing themselves in order to build a lasting business. Doing so would allow you to increase your chances of making your business successful. One of the best ways to do this is by reading books about entrepreneurship. The wisdom in entrepreneurial books could impart knowledge that could help you when running your own business. The authors have experiences they could impart to you in order to make sound decisions and avoid time and resource consuming mistakes.
Below are a list of prominent entrepreneurial books with their summaries and reasons as to how they could help you in becoming an entrepreneur or business person.
Built To Last by Jim Collins
The core content of this book was based on a survey of hundreds of CEOs interviewed around the world and how they are able to last their company. What the author found most astounding were three things:
(1) You do not need a great idea to start a great company – What sets visionary companies apart from other companies is that they do not necessarily have a great idea when they start but they did begin somewhere in order to continually generate new ideas until they have a great one. For instance, Motorola’s line of business was initially selling battery eliminators. This then became obsolete and was replaced by better products. Likewise, Apple was into computers, but their iPhones still became the most profitable product line.
(2) Without a core ideology, a company will never be visionary – Your core ideologies is something that should be carried across the different parts of your business including your products, employees, and across time. These core values are what sets you apart from other companies, and also gives your company a running purpose for it to function. It goes far beyond just acquiring profit. For instance, Starbucks philosophy is to make everyone welcome instead of just making it seem like they are just serving coffee. Howard Scultz, the founder of Starbucks mentioned ““… at Starbucks, I’ve always said we’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business serving coffee.”
(3) Visionary companies are like a cult – You’re in or you’re out. When people join visionary companies, they either join it and work in it for a long time, or they immediately leave after a few months. The thing is, visionary companies only accept those people who have the same guiding principles or north star as the company does.
The Advantage by Patrick Leoncioni
In this book, Leoncioni argues that it is not enough that the team members of an organization are just intellectually competent. While intellect plays a role, Leoncioni argues that the health of an organization is just as important and gives a competitive advantage over those companies that are unhealthy. He states that there are actually four guiding disciplines to make an organization healthy. These are, (1) developing a cohesive leadership team, (2) creating strategic clarity, (3) over-communicating that clarity throughout the organisation, (4) reinforcing strategy through systems and ways of working.
7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
This book by Covey is a self-improvement book that could help anyone including entrepreneurs to carry the right values in themselves that would make them more productive and effective in pursuing their own crafts. The core belief of the author and what he wants to pitch to its readers is that while we are not in control of the things happening around us, it is only by changing ourselves that we can change the outcome of any circumstances.
He shares 7 habits and principles for us to do this.
- Be Proactive – Having the mindset that we are the ones that are responsible for our lives is the first step in committing to any long lasting changes. You cannot simply play victim or pinpoint other people for the outcome of your actions.
- Begin With the End in Mind – The second habit is pinpointing the goals that we have, and if they align with our inner values. For simple reasons, you cannot hit a target you do not set.
- Put First Things First – We must first manage ourselves, before we can actually manage our time. There are things that are important and unimportant. Likewise, both important and unimportant tasks can either be urgent and non-urgent. In essence, it is best to categorize them first before deciding on what to do.
- Think Win-Win – In dealing with negotiations or people, we must strive to make both parties happy. This could only be done by adapting an abundance mindset, a mindset that tells us that there is enough for everyone to be satisfied.
- Seek First To Understand, And Be Understood – Before we could fully understand people, we must empathetically listen to them. People may think that listening is something very passive. In contrast, listening is actually something that is actively done.
- Synergize – The concept of synergy is basically the idea that the entirety of things when combined together is greater than the sum of its parts. This is because more is accomplished when people or things work together. Metaphorically, this principle dictates that one plus one is equal to three, not equal to two.
- Sharpen The Saw – This last habit mentioned by the author tackles the idea of renewal. In order to be effective people, we must first enhance our greatest asset, which is ourselves. We must continually grow in the four dimensions of human life – physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially.
Becoming an entrepreneur and starting that business is no doubt going to be difficult. Nonetheless, this should not be a reason to give up for aspiring entrepreneurs. In contrast, they should work around this through thorough preparation. One good way to do this is by reading the right books. Entrepreneurial books offer key lessons and practical pieces of advice on how to overcome the different obstacles and challenges that entrepreneurs would go through.
Kyle Francis Ong is a freelancer writing with a knack for writing. While some writers prefer having a particular niche topic when writing, Kyle challenges himself by writing for different ones. In particular, some of these niches include businesses, home improvement, fashion and beauty trends, and many other more.